Travel aboard the
Known as the “Queen of Galápagos,” the Reina Silvia is a 90-foot luxury yacht dedicated to providing an elegant, comfortable expedition for up to 16 travelers into the heart of the Galápagos Islands. On this special cruise, spend 8 days exploring the eastern Galápagos Islands (Santa Cruz, Española, San Cristóbal, Genovesa, Santiago, Baltra) enjoying spacious staterooms complete with ocean views, a classic lounge to dine on world-class cuisine, and relaxing salon area for guide presentations. Relax with a luscious, handcrafted cocktail at sunset from the upper deck lounge that features a panoramic view of the islands. From the swimming platform to the extended bow for whale and dolphin watching, the Reina Silvia is committed to inspiring your adventurous spirit. Carefully arranged itineraries, along with pangas, kayaks, and snorkeling equipment, let you dive into an intimate, unique adventure exploring this magical part of the world.
Baltra Island / Santa Cruz Island
Arrive at the airport on Baltra Island where guides from the Reina Silvia will greet you and whisk you away for your first excursion. Explore the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, passing through the dry coastal region up to the deep green, lush forests made up of Scalesia trees. Step into a large underground lava tube that stretches over half a mile. Hike into its dark interior along a well lit path.
By the afternoon, visit the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Center where giant tortoises are bred and reared until they can survive in the wilds on their own. See tortoises in all ranges of life, from hatchlings to adult.
Board the Reina Silvia and settle into your cabin. Dine on a specially prepared meal as the sun sets over the islands and the stars spread across the sky.
Spend your first morning touring the spectacular Gardner Bay. Walk along a lovely white sand beach crossing paths with a busy sea lion colony. Dive into the water to swim or snorkel with sea lion pups, or kayak along the coastline looking for curious mockingbirds, Nazca boobies, waved albatross, red-billed tropicbirds, lava lizards, Galápagos hawks, and blue-footed boobies. Watch the ocean spray high in the air through the magnificent, naturally-created blow hole in the rock.
Next, visit Gardner Islet, a small island that will bring out the explorer in you. Made up of curvy tunnels at one end of the island and caves at the other, feel what it was like to be a pirate back in the 1800s, hiding from the law or hiding treasure. Take the opportunity to snorkel where you are sure to find eels, batfish, eagle rays, hammerheads, and peacock flounders. You can also take a panga ride around the island to explore the cliffs for birds.
After lunch, snorkel Osborne Islet, a marine site home to sea lions, parrot fish, butterfly fish, and sometimes the rare red-lipped batfish.
End the day at Suarez Point on the western end of Española Island. Hike the trails to find a large population of albatross and wild seabirds, including the mesmerizing carnivorous mockingbird.
Lobos Island / San Cristóbal Island
This morning, visit Lobos Island, which means “Sea Lion Island.” This appropriately named island is ripe with playful sea lions that will welcome you as you hike into the island’s interior and swim alongside you if you choose to snorkel. Find tropical fish, sea turtles, manta rays, and hammerheads, as well as blue-footed and Nazca boobies, and frigate birds.
After lunch, visit Punta Pitt, situated on the northeastern tip of San Cristóbal Island. Spot frigatebirds, storm petrels, and all three types of booby birds: Nazca, blue-footed, and red-footed. A steep trail takes you through a ravine that is like a sanctuary filled with birds.
Santa Fe Island / South Plaza Island
Spend your morning on Santa Fe Island, exploring the trails that lead to scenic viewpoints atop the cliffs, or to a tall prickly pear cactus forest dotted with giant Opuntia cacti. Land iguanas will often cross your path as you go. Dive into the water with a snorkeling excursion, or hop aboard a panga ride or your own kayak to tour the island’s shoreline.
This afternoon, head to South Plaza Island. This small island with steep cliffs was formed by rising lava and is now covered by giant Opuntia cacti. It plays host to Audubon’s shearwaters, swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca boobies, colorful yellow and red land iguanas, as well as one of the largest sea lion colonies in the Galápagos. Notice the flowering Sesuvium, most common plant on the island that turns green or yellow during the rainy season, and bright red during the dry.
Stroll along the white sand coral beach of Darwin Bay, winding through mangroves filled with Nazca and red-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls. Further down the path, find tidal pools where sea lions swim playfully. Snorkel amongst rays, colourful reef fish, and hammerheads, or take a kayak or panga ride through these turquoise waters.
In the afternoon, visit El Barranco, also known as Prince Phillip’s Steps, a steep path that leads to a cliff where you will find a marvelous view of surrounding islands. Hike through palo santo forests where red-footed boobies, short-eared lava owls, storm petrels, Galápagos swallows, and Galápagos doves reside.
Santiago Island / Bartholomew Island
Arrive at Sullivan Bay this morning, located off the southeast coast of Santiago Island. Explore the many small volcanoes, formed by lava flows, that dot the bay. Snorkel or swim to get up close to these intriguing geologic formations, or take a panga ride weaving in and out of the obstacle course these volcanoes make.
By the afternoon, find yourself on Bartholomew Island, home of the infamous Pinnacle Rock. Bartholomew is an extinct volcano covered by a variety of red, orange, black, and green volcanic formations. Hike the trails through this strange landscape. Take the stairs to the summit of the volcano where you’ll enjoy one of the best views in the islands. Because of its lava-covered landscape, it is home to certain plant species only found on this barren island. From the beach, snorkel with Galápagos penguins, reef sharks, rays, and bounties of colorful fish.
Rabida Island / Sombrero Chino Island
After breakfast, visit Rabida Island, considered the heart of the Galápagos, both for its central location but also for the deep dark red rock that covers the island. Step onto Rabida’s brick red sand beach. Hike to a stunning lookout atop the brick red cliffs where birdwatcher’s will delight in seeing some of the rarest species in abundance. Find nine varieties of finches, large-billed flycatchers, Galápagos hawks, brown pelicans, and white-cheeked pintail ducks. Snorkel alongside sea lions, penguins, and tropical fish, or hop aboard for a panga ride or kayaking excursion along the deep red shoreline.
This afternoon, visit Sombrero Chino, also known as Chinese Hat Island, a small island off the southeast coast of Santiago. Named for its distinct shape, which resembles a traditional Chinese bamboo hat, this small island is the perfect place to see lava tubes and lava flows with marine and coral skeletons embedded inside. Formed by underwater lava flows that later lifted above water, feel like an archaeologist as you search for these artifacts. Spend the afternoon hiking along this strange landscape, or snorkel with an abundance of exotic fish, marine iguanas, and sea lions.
Balta Airport / Departure
After breakfast, depart the Reina Silvia and arrive at Baltra airport for your return flight home.
NOTE: The above itinerary reflects the intended program, however, should be read as a guide only. The actual itinerary will depend on weather conditions, wildlife encounters, and any unforeseen circumstances beyond the operator’s control.